300: Rise of an Empire (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
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||History of Artemisia||Junkie XL||9:34||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Marathon||Junkie XL||3:54||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||From Man To God King||Junkie XL||3:50||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Sparta||Junkie XL||1:05||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Artemisia's Childhood||Junkie XL||3:42||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Suicide||Junkie XL||1:18||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Left For Dead||Junkie XL||1:32||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Fog Battle||Junkie XL||4:35||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||A Beach of Bodies||Junkie XL||4:17||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Fire Battle||Junkie XL||6:11||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Xerxes' Thoughts||Junkie XL||3:44||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Queen Gorgo||Junkie XL||3:59||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Greeks On Attack||Junkie XL||4:28||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||History of the Greeks||Junkie XL||7:04||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||Greeks Are Winning||Junkie XL||6:04||$1.29||View in iTunes|
||End Credits||Junkie XL||2:34||$1.29||View in iTunes|
Dutch DJ/composer Junkie XL (a.k.a. Tom Holkenborg) turned award-winning scoring work in his homeland into a wildly successful collaboration with Hans Zimmer (Dark Knight Rises, Inception, Megamind, Divergent). The pair’s work on Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel led to this solo JXL score, one “that was very brutal but fresh at the same time,” the Dutch musician explains. “Something strongly rhythm-oriented, with sound design on original instruments from that time period. It was very important to underscore the fact that this is not your typical historical drama.” With much of the story at sea, JXL echoed the waves in his rhythms, then turned to ancient Persian musical scales for melodic inspiration. “I also wanted to make sure that I had an overall sound that is not necessarily from any of those cultures,” he says. To that end, JXL took an ax to an old piano, attached electric guitar pickups, then played it with drumsticks: “That instrument has become very important throughout the whole score. Not a traditional instrument of any of those cultures, but I just thought it was a really cool element to have.”
Epic and Moving
As I write this, the movie itself - "300: Rise of an Empire" - has yet to be released.
However, Junkie XL's soundtrack is out! As with his recent work on "Paranoia", he's separate from Hans Zimmer, but brings a similar vibe to "Man of Steel". And the result is great!
Starting with the near 10 minute long "History of Artemisia", XL seems to pull the listener slowly up from a peaceful ocean and straight into the fierce world of Classical Greece. The following tracks "Marathon" and "Sparta" bring on some heavy, heart-pumping beats that will get you in the mood for battle!
"Artemisia's Childhood" is a calmer, yet driven song that carry on with Artemisia's theme from track one. Then, "Suicide" gives us about a minute of peace and relaxation, before a hint of the Marathon theme kicks in towards the end.
"Left for Dead" is more of a sad track with an edge, that managed to chill me with some haunting images of Leonidas and his 300 Spartans. Then, "Fog Battle" pulls you back into the action and really kicks off by the 1-minute mark. Drums and guitar all the way!
As the action ends, "Beach of Bodies" continues on with what I can only describe as a moving "ode to death". But fear not, "Fire Battle" then rips the sadness from your chest and kicks you down a bottomless pit! With a continuous drive and multiple drums at work, a sense of war and peril manifests in the mind.
"Xerxes' Thoughts" is a calm and slow track, giving a feeling of entering the god-king's sweeping "mind palace" for a while. After that, "History of the Greeks" gives us seven minutes worthy as music to some epic speech. Then there is "Greeks Are Winning", a track that builds up to battle with the roaring Marathon theme.
It all ends with - no surprise - "End Credits", which features an explosive amalgam of the fierce battle themes. A good way to get pumped for training, should you wish to become the next great Greek general!
With "300: Rise of an Empire", Junkie XL has proven that he is more than capable as a composer on his own. He brings to the table both epic action and moving pieces to a soundtrack I didn't expect much from to begin with. It makes me giddy and excited to see the movie. Highly recommended!
There was a remix of War Pigs by Black Sabbath in the end credits, which is not on the soundtrack. Bummer.
Now I’m Really Excited!
I was already looking forward to 300: Rise of an Empire, but now since I’ve listened to its soundtrack, I’m eagerly awaiting it and I can already tell this will be epic.
Born: December 8, 1967 in Lichtenvoorde, The Netherlands
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s